Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

The truth about Washington’s business climate: This is a great place to do business

By David Groves | Washington State Labor Council

smalley-editNational rankings that analyze state business climates — including those by conservative “pro-business” think tanks and policy groups — consistently rank Washington among the very best states for business. They say we have comparatively low business taxes, a lighter regulatory burden, a highly skilled and highly trained workforce, excellent higher education, and for those reasons and many others, our state economy outperforms those of other states.

But when it comes to whether Washington state can continue to maintain and attract good-paying jobs, some of our elected leaders seem to have self-image problems that simply aren’t based in reality.

If Al Franken was still on Saturday Night Live portraying life coach and self-confidence guru Stuart Smalley (instead of serving in the U.S. Senate), some of our state’s elected leaders could have a session in front of his mirror repeating, “We’re good enough, we’re smart enough and doggone it, business people like us!”

The recommended therapy is simple: Stop believing the politically motivated, demonstrably untrue rhetoric generated within the state that suggests this is a bad place to do business. Instead, start looking at what national business publications and public policy organizations — which don’t have an agenda or vested interest in the outcome — are saying about us. And finally, work together to build on our considerable business-climate advantages to make Washington an even more attractive place for businesses and industries.

Check the rankings for yourself in Washington: Still a business-friendly state »

National rankings that analyze state business climates — including those by conservative “pro-business” think tanks and policy groups — consistently rank Washington among the very best states for business.
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